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Mer Soleil Silver Unoaked Chardonnay 2005

Chardonnay from Central Coast, California
  • WS92
  • RP90
0% ABV
  • WW90
  • WS90
  • WS88
  • WS88
  • WS91
  • WE92
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Winemaker Notes

For the winemaking team that brings you Caymus, Mer Soleil, and and Belle Glos!

The debut vintage of Silver, an effort to unite the crisp mineral essence of classic Chablis style with the tropical elements found in Chardonnay of the Pacific coastline.

Using Chardonnay grown in special blocks of the Mer Soleil Vineyard in the Santa Lucia Highlands of Monterey County, we harvested the grapes when just fully ripe, their gold color hued with green, expressing clean aromas of Chardonnay fruit and firm acidity. Bottled in screwcap to preserve freshness, and unoaked in the style of Chablis.

"Delicious, with pure, rich, concentrated pear, citrus, honeysuckle and spicy apple flavors that are complex and well-focused, with a long, juicy aftertaste. Drink now through 2010."
-Wine Spectator

"I have been waiting for a California winery to produce a big, crisp, mineral-dominated, richly fruity, virgin Chardonnay, and this screw cap-finished effort was worth the wait... Rich and honeyed with plenty of orange oil, lemon zest, and tropical fruit, this crisp Chardonnay should drink well for 1 – 2 years."
-Robert Parker

Critical Acclaim

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WS 92
Wine Spectator
RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
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Mer Soleil

Mer Soleil

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Mer Soleil, Central Coast, California
2005 Silver Unoaked Chardonnay
The Mer Soleil Vineyard is named for two natural forces that create its growing conditions: sea (mer) and sun (soleil). With plantings at two separate locations in the Santa Lucia Highlands appellation of Monterey County, Mer Soleil’s Chardonnay vines are nestled on east-facing lower slopes of the Sierra de Salinas range in what is one of the coolest, driest grape growing areas in California. During the growing season, warmer inland temperatures at the southern end of the Salinas Valley pull cooling morning and evening fogs into the vineyards. The afternoons, in contrast, are evenly warm and sunny. The absence of rain throughout the long growing season—harvest typically continues into November—and a pattern of brisk afternoon breezes keeps the grapes dry and pristine.

Charlie Wagner II is the winemaker and directs vineyard operations at Mer Soleil

Central Coast

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The largest and perhaps most varied of California’s wine-growing regions, the Central Coast produces the majority of the state's wine. The sprawling district covers most of the vineyard land between San Francisco and Santa Barbara from the coast inland nearly all the way to the Central Valley. Encompassing an extremely diverse array of climates, soil types, and wine styles, it contains many smaller sub-AVAs, including Monterey, Paso Robles, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Maria Valley, and Santa Cruz Mountains.

Just about every major international grape variety is planted within this vast AVA, from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. A significant proportion of the region’s produce is generic, inexpensive bulk wine, but the Central Coast is also home to many small, artisanal wineries crafting unique, high-quality wines, as well as everything in between.

Chardonnay

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One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it’s grown and how it’s made. In Burgundy, Chardonnay produces some of the finest white wines in the world, typically tending towards minimal intervention in the winery and at its best resulting in remarkable longevity. This grape is popular throughout the world, but perhaps its second most important home is in California, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia, South America, South Africa, and New Zealand are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay’s flavors tend towards grapefruit, green apple, minerals, and white stone fruit, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of fig, melon, and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut, and spice (as well as texture), while malolactic fermentation can impart soft, buttery acidity.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with simple seafood, light chicken dishes, and salads. Richer Chardonnays marry well with cream or oil-based sauces.

Sommelier Secret

Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. These Old-World style wines have been dubbed the “New California Chardonnays,” and anyone who claims they do not like Chardonnay should give them a try.

WBO30058192_2005 Item# 91143

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